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May 17, 2010

Board gives preliminary approval to 2010-11 budget

Hamilton School Board members gave preliminary approval to the 2010-11 budget which will be presented to citizens June 21 at the district’s Annual Meeting. The budget totals $50.07 million, which is a 2.79 percent increase over the current budget.

The budget was created assuming that the district will educate 35 additional students and state aid will increase 5.75 percent. State aid contributes 44 percent of revenues to the Hamilton budget, with the local property taxes providing about 53 percent.

The local tax rate is projected to be $9.71 per $1,000 of equalized property value – a 1.8 percent increase over the current rate. For each $100,000 of property owned, citizens will pay $971 to support local school taxes which is $17 more over last year’s rate.

The Annual Meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. It is preceded by the Annual Public Hearing which begins at 6:15 p.m. Citizens are able to vote on the tax levy at the Annual Meeting.

Retirees honored for service

Eight employees whose service to the school district totaled more than 180 years were recognized by the School Board in honor of their retirements. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., provided comments about each retiree that were collected from their supervisors and colleagues. Those attending the recognition were Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional Jane Gutmann, Maple Avenue Elementary School Title I kindergarten paraprofessional Pamela Jajtner, Marcy Elementary School fifth grade teacher Richard L. Petersohn, Jr., Templeton eighth grade social studies William T. Steiner and Lannon Elementary School speech-language pathologist Kathleen Voss-Schwartz. Those unable to attend were Maple Avenue music teacher Mary Ann Porwoll, Superintendent’s Office executive assistant Marilynn Schumann and Hamilton High School night foreman custodian Joel Worden.

Board signs on for Race to Top application

The School Board approved signing a memorandum of understanding that allows the district to participate in the second round of the federal Race to the Top funding. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and State Superintendent Tony Evers wrote to school districts asking them to sign on with the state’s application for competitive grant funding that moves innovation and educational reform forward.

Wisconsin’s application asks for $250 million, half of which will be distributed based on the federal Title I formula designed to support communities that have greater levels of poverty. The state application focuses on tying staff evaluations to student achievement, turning around struggling schools and implementing a data system to better understand individual student progress.

As in the first application process, if federal funding is provided, school districts will have 90 days to finalize and submit their work plans to the state or they may withdraw from the agreement and forgo local award.

The School Board voted 5-2 to participating in the application process, with Gerald Schmitz and Michael Hyland voting again it.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement of Maple Avenue music teacher Mary Ann Porwoll;
  • accepted the resignation of Hamilton part-time physical education teacher John Hervert;
  • recalled Woodside music teacher Rose Frohna and Lannon art teacher Lorene Lisheron from partial layoffs;
  • appointed Kim Schmitt as a part-time Marcy Early Reading Empowerment teacher; and
  • approved partial layoff for Hamilton teachers Stephanie Shoemaker, Lindsey Klein and Rachel Herman due to student registration for particular courses.